Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Two Down for International Polar Bear Day!

by giraffe keeper, Vicki Hodge

Hi all! February 27 is International Polar Bear Day. A few years ago, the Buffalo Zoo launched an initiative for local schools to help celebrate the day, and do some conservation for polar bears at the same time. We called it Bundle up for Polar Bears! The challenge was to raise awareness about climate change which affects polar bears, by reducing carbon emissions through the simple act of lowering the thermostat a few degrees. If every school in Western New York participated, the combined amount would be significant. Polar Bears International liked our idea so much that they adopted it and changed the name to the Thermostat Challenge which they now do on the every International Polar Bear Day!

We want to do our part to help the cause, so here is what were asking everyone to do. Along with our schools and the Zoo, you can turn the heat down 1 or 2 degrees at home or in your work place this Saturday, February 27. For example, we will turn the heat down from 65°F to 63°F in the giraffe house and other places throughout the Zoo.

All you need to do to take part is set your thermostat down and put on an extra sweater or sweat shirt for the day. You probably won't even notice the difference in temperature. It's easy! Then you can say you helped save the polar bears and their sea ice! If that is not incentive enough, on average if you turn back your heat 2 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 1% on your fuel usage and that means more $$$$ in your pocket!

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